Sexual dysfunction in veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder

J Sex Med. 2015 Apr;12(4):847-55. doi: 10.1111/jsm.12823. Epub 2015 Feb 9.


Introduction: Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) experience high rates of sexual dysfunction. However, the topic of sexual dysfunction is often overlooked clinically and underexamined in the PTSD research literature. Clinician assessment and treatment of sexual dysfunction are particularly important for Veterans, who are at increased risk of exposure to trauma.

Aim: Review the literature regarding sexual dysfunction among Veterans with PTSD.

Method: Review of the literature.

Results: Sexual dysfunction, including erectile difficulties in males and vaginal pain in females, is common among Veterans with PTSD. Several underlying mechanisms may account for the overlap between PTSD and sexual dysfunction. Certain barriers may contribute to the reluctance of providers in addressing problems of sexual dysfunction in Veterans with PTSD.

Conclusions: With the high likelihood of sexual dysfunction among Veterans with PTSD, it is important to consider the integration of treatment strategies. Efforts to further the research on this important topic are needed.

Keywords: Erectile Dysfunction; Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; Sexual Dysfunction; Veterans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antipsychotic Agents / adverse effects
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / drug therapy
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Reproductive Health
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / epidemiology*
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / physiopathology
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / psychology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / drug therapy
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology*
  • United States
  • Veterans*


  • Antipsychotic Agents